Ways to manage breathlessness and anxiety

Eating and cooking can be hard work when you are short of breath so try to:

  • Choose soft, moist foods that are easier to chew and swallow. Sauces and gravies can help.
  • Eat smaller meals with snacks or nourishing drinks between – here are some shopping list ideas [leaflet: High Energy High Protein diet shopping list ideas]
  • Sit upright when eating and drinking to ease the pressure on your lungs.
  • Take small mouthfuls and pause between each mouthful.
  • Sometimes fluids are easier – here are some nourishing drink recipes [leaflet: nourishing drinks for adults] and a couple of quick tips by video [video: Enriching your Cuppa] [video: Nourishing Drink]
  • It’s ok to use convenience foods like ready meals if you’re not up to cooking a meal from scratch at the moment. This quick, nourishing meal uses just ingredients from your cupboards: [video: store cupboard meal]
  • Oral hygiene is really important to reduce risk of getting infections- more information here: [leaflet: oral hygiene and respiratory problems]
  • Click here for more guidance on managing your breathing [link to “Breathlessness”]


  • Relaxation, Breathing exercises and Mindfulness can  help manage your breathing 

For more information, please refer to this very helpful guide: